Falls from heights dominate work fatalities from 2013 to May 2016

National 1 minute, 42 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THIRTY-SIX work-related fatalities were reported from 2013 to May this year, 25 of which occurred in the construction industry mainly due to falls from heights, said an official at the the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO).

These fatalities included those working on scaffolding or being hit by a moving object, said Steve England, head of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) at the EIDPMO at the first Construction HSSE Conference in Brunei yesterday.

In 2015, he said statistics obtained by the Ministry of Health indicated that nine out of 10 work-related fatalities occurred in the construction industry.

England said based on the statistics, Brunei’s work fatality rate is currently 10 times that of the UK.

While Brunei reported 10 work-fatality cases in 2015, there were 144 in the United Kingdom.

He quoted that the number of employed in the UK and Brunei for 2015 was 30 million and 200,000 respectively.

Comparing the figures, England said this meant the fatality rate per 100,000 workers was five in Brunei, compared to 0.48 in the UK.

He said the proposed national key performance indicator to reduce Brunei’s work fatality rate is 50 per cent by 2025, and the target is to have zero work fatalities by 2035.

“So the focus for the construction industry is to have improvements in working at height and general movement of equipment. We are also looking into scaffolding practices,” he said.

“We have to work with the industry now to find out what the issues are and what is needed to change the attitude and behaviours of their performance in terms of HSE.

Clearly, if we get on top of this, I think we can have a big impact on those statistics quite quickly,’’ he told The Brunei Times in an interview.

England went on to say that statistics for major accidents such as fires and explosions in the oil and gas sector are very low. “For the rest of the industry, the big accidents is fatality. When we looked at what is causing the fatality, it was construction work at height,’’ he said.

The Brunei Times